First things first – no ingredient or product can magically erase your pores forever. Unless you literally strip off a layer of your skin! Love them or hate them, those pores are on your face forever. In fact, they’re an integral part of your skin as they store the natural oils that keep your skin hydrated.

Now that we’ve said it, you can still minimise your pores so they will stop turning your skin into zit haven. 

How can one do that, you ask? It’s all about keeping your skin clear and hydrated! Keep reading as we probe the ins and outs of pores(literally!), why they get clogged, and how to minimise them.

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Pores 101: What You Need to Know

Pores allow the skin to breathe and serve as a conduit between the interior and outside of the body. They’re where your skin stores its natural oils that hydrate the surface of your skin. Their size and appearance, however, depend on a myriad of factors, including genetics, skin type, sun exposure, and age. 

But when there’s too much oil, dirt, and debris in our pores, they become clogged, thereby appearing larger. This blockage often leads to infection and pimples, exacerbating the problem. Ageing also affects the size of your pores. As you age, your skin starts to lose its elasticity and suppleness, which causes your pores to look bigger. 

How to Make Your Pores Look Smaller

Start double cleansing

Cleansing helps remove all the excess oil, makeup, and dirt atop your skin that could get into your pores. However, cleansing only once doesn’t ensure all the debris is out of the way. So, the better solution? Double cleansing.

Double cleansing involves using an oil-based cleanser and following it up with a gentle foam cleanser. The first cleanse will help remove waterproof makeup and surface dirt on your skin. Then, the second cleanse will work deeper and target deep-seated dirt trapped in your pores to prevent them from clogging.

Exfoliate regularly.

Exfoliating sloughs away the top layer of your skin, which houses all the dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. This helps remove any gunk and debris that can clog your pores. Here’s a helpful exfoliating trick for you:

Before you apply your exfoliant, place a warm washcloth on your face for five minutes to open your pores. Then, exfoliate your face using gentle, circular strokes while you work the product into your skin. This also helps to focus on your problem areas, especially the T-zone, since it’s much oilier than the rest.

Use skincare acids. 

Nothing does the job better than alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid. These skincare acids destroy the bonds between your cells to unclog your pores. They’re also great exfoliants, although it’s worth mentioning that they work differently.

AHAs smoothen and brighten the skin, which is why those with dry and sensitive skin can tolerate them. On the other hand, BHAs penetrate deeper to clear your pores, making them perfect for oily or acne-prone skin. Just a quick note: acids make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so wear your SPF daily!

Add retinol to your routine.

Retinol is an anti-ageing powerhouse that can help minimise enlarged pores caused by ageing! It effectively boosts collagen production in the skin while concurrently lowering oil production, giving you smoother skin and smaller pores. 

However, retinol can be harsh on the skin, so only use it at night. This fat-soluble vitamin also shouldn’t be mixed with BHAs and AHAs, as it can dry out and irritate your skin.

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